Recently, the US suggested that Assad does not necessarily have to go. Nonetheless, experts say it is still too early to ascertain whether the West's attitude towards the regime has changed.
While US sanctions don't translate to accountability, it will draw blood from the Syrian regime.
The first batch of designations target 39 people or entities, including Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad personally as well as his wife Asma — the first time she has been targeted by US sanctions.
Sunni majority Syria was carved out of Ottoman Turkey in 1945, but since 1970, the Assad clan from an Alawite minority has ruled over it.
Protests erupted in Suweida over deteriorating living standards, as Assad struggles to keep the economy afloat.
Bell Pottinger was expelled from industry's trade association over a campaign that was seen to have deliberately stoked racial tensions in South Africa in support of President Jacob Zuma and his ruling party.
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